Scottish schools have a statutory obligation to make parents and their children aware of their right to withdraw from aspects of religious and moral teaching and observance schools.

At the beginning of April 2012, Humanist Society Scotland commissioned YouGov to survey 1000 Scottish parents of children aged 5 to 16 to find out if they were aware of their rights, where they had heard about their rights and to investigate their attitudes towards covering belief in Scottish schools.

The research was sponsored by Humanist Society of Scotland and prepared in collaboration with YouGov to ensure the responses are a fair representation of the views held by Scottish Parents.

The Research Findings

The main findings of the research were.

  • Parents are not being adequately aware of their right to withdraw. Four out five parents (80%) were either ignorant of their rights or originally found out through a source other than school. Worryingly, 39%, over a third of parents were not aware of their right at all.
  • 5% of parents say that their child never studies or takes part in RMO or RE.
  • Only 15% gave their own religion as a reason they wanted children to learn their own belief in Schools.
  • Parents want to see a wide variety of viewpoints regarding religions and non-belief systems covered in schools. nearly one in five parents think RO and RME should be removed from schools.
  • Parents wanted want to see a more secular approach where children hear a variety of religious and non-religious viewpoints .

A copy of the main findings can be downloaded here (PDF).

You can also download a copy of the original data as a spreadsheet (.xls).